Thursday, May 26, 2016

recommended gigs


Friday May 27 - Franks'n'Deans at Mickey Finnz
Friday May 27 - the Time Crashers with Fang, Verbal Abuse and more at the Hard Hat
Friday May 27 - Good Grief and Alan Six at 11th St Records

Saturday May 28 - Joan Jett at Fremont Street Experience
Saturday May 28 - the Kingsmen, Box Tops, Standells, and the Happenings at the Cannery
Saturday May 28 - Shanda and the Howlers, the Lucky Cheats and the 44's at the Blues and Brew Fest at Springs Preserve
Saturday May 28 - the Rocketz, the Boilermakers, Sandbox Bullies, Less Offs, Analog Law at the Dive Bar
Saturday May 29 - the Unwieldies at the Side Bar

Monday May 30 - Blasters, Supersuckers, All Togethers at the Triple B

Tuesday May 31 - Water Landing, Christine Antipa, the Bad Vibes at the Velveteen Rabbit

Saturday June 4 - Ritchie Ramone at the Dive Bar
Saturday June 4 - Shanda and the Howlers at the Golden Tiki

Thursday June 9 - the Peculiar Pretzelmen and the Sharps at the Golden Tiki

Friday June 10 - the New Waves at the Golden Tiki

Thursday June 16 - the Astaires and We Were Promised Jet Packs at the Bunkhouse

Friday June 24 - Melanie and the Midnite Marauders, Alan Six and the Undercover Monsters at the Dive Bar

Thursday July 14 - Screeching Weasel, the Dickies, the Queers at LV Country Saloon

Friday July 22 - Eagles of Death Metal at the Hard Rock

Sunday July 24 - Bob Log III at the Golden Tiki

Friday August 12 - Shooter Jennings back by Waylon's Band at Fremont Country Club

Saturday August 13 - The Swamp Gospel, Thee Faded Pyctures, and more at the Double Down

What have I forgotten? Lemme know

Sunday, May 22, 2016

The Swamp Gospel, The Rhyolite Sound, The Mapes and The Swank Bastards at the Double Down, Saturday May 21, 2016


This was a show that I set up for my birthday so other than saying that it was a great time and thank you to everyone who showed up and especially all of the great bands that played, I don't have a lot to say. Every band is amazing in their own way and cool cats and you should see and support them all!

Swamp Gospel photo by Nikki Ruffling:



The Rhyolite Sound might not have gotten the DD crowd two-steppin', but their desert honky-tonk got a great reception:






The Mapes brought in a crazy crowd who sang along to every one of their rude'n'sloppy punk rock. Actually, they were not particularly sloppy these evening - I don't think anyone was as wasted as usual and their wasnb't food flying everywhere so they actually played a coherent set! Fun times!









Just cuz the Mapes normally have to play last, I thought I'd give them a break and the Swank Bastards were good enough to close the night, as they never seem to get tired! Great set of their own brand of surf instrumentals (including one of their Black Sabbath covers) with Turbo drumming this evening. I think they were ready to go all night, but the crowd was a little wiped out by then!





Again, thank you to the Double Down and all of these fine bands!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

The Sloths, The Astaires, the Laissez Fairs at the Bunkhouse Friday May 20, 2016

The new(ish) Bunkhouse is always a funplace to check out bands - real stage and sound system (including sound man!), cheap drinks and good food! Combined with a rockin' three band line-up and how could I refuse?

Up first were the Laissez Fairs - the latest 60's psych/garage/pop project from the Steppes frontman John Fallon. Here he is joined by Joe Lawless on 12-string guitar and vocals, Brian Gathy on bass, Dale Gilbert on percussion and a revolving list of drummers. I didn't catch the name of the gentleman playing this evening, but he did a fine job keeping up with the rest of the lads.

Joe and John traded lead vocals and harmonies while John generally played lead guitar and Joe added cool 12 string flourishes and some neat sound effects from a variety of pedals. The sound is 60's-influenced, naturally, ranging from Beatles-esque pop to heavy rockers to Pink Floyd psychedelia. This is the first time that I caught this particular line up live and I was quite impressed by the sound. They don't play out often - they want the shows to be events - so catch 'em when you can!






John's son Cromm Fallon "leads" the Astaires on guitar and lead vocals, along with Dakota McCullough on guitar and sharing lead vocals, Ron Paul on bass and backing vocals and Ricky Torres on drums and vocals. They play an updated and original sounding high-energy garage rock'n'roll, with plenty of other influences thrown in. They are highly visual and the set is dominated by barely-controlled (and sometimes not controlled) chaos. Lots of jumping/falling/thrashing about but all the while keeping the songs at least relatively together! Cromm adds a variety of effects to his leads which keeps things from becoming samey, and there are some pysch touches, but still with plenty of spirit. Their covers of the Stooges "Down on the Street" (Cromm just singing) and "Do You Love Me" (Dakota putting down his guitar an taking off his glasses so he could sing and dance) were particularly crazed highlights. These youngsters get better every time I see them - hope they'll be tearing about another club soon!









60's legends The Sloths headlined the night with a powerful set of their garage/r'n'b sound, from the opening cover of Love's "7&7 Is", to Holly Vincent's "Never Enough Girls" (written for Joey Ramone but he passed before he could get it and so it was given to the Sloths), the Dr. Feelgood-ish "End of My Rope", "Before I Die" (reminiscent of the Pirates), "One Way Out" (check out their cool music video), "Haunted", "Lust" (another of the 7 deadly sins, such as the one they were named after) and, of course, their 60's Bob Diddley-inspired classic, "Makin' Love". Singer Tommy continues to be highly visual - running around the club with his wireless mic while playing harp, hitting on the women, tearing open his short, blowing up sex dolls, strangling himself with rope and much more. Guitarist Pooch keeps the sounds rockin' with Michael (bass) and Ray (drums) keep the dance beat stompin'. Really fine'n'fun stuff - they're playing as often as they can these days so see 'em when they come your way!







Thursday, May 19, 2016

recommended gigs


Thursday May 19 - Whitey Morgan and the 78's at Vinyl

Friday May 20 - the Sloths, the Astaires, the Van Der Rohe and the Lasses Fairs at the Bunkhouse
Friday May 20 - Shanda and the Howlers at Vintage Bike Night at the Arts Gallery 7:00-10:00

Saturday May 21 - Rich's birthday show with The Swamp Gospel, the Rhyolite Sound, The Mapes and the Swank Bastards at the Double Down

Sunday May 22 - Shawn James and the Shape Shifters, Whiskey Breath and Sin City Ditch Diggers at the Dive Bar

Friday May 27 - Franks'n'Deans at Mickey Finnz
Friday May 27 - the Time Crashers with Fang, Verbal Abuse and more at the Hard Hat
Friday May 27 - Good Grief and Alan Six at 11th St Records

Saturday May 28 - Joan Jett at Fremont Street Experience
Saturday May 28 - the Kingsmen, Box Tops, Standells, and the Happenings at the Cannery
Saturday May 28 - Shanda and the Howlers, the Lucky Cheats and the 44's at the Blues and Brew Fest at Springs Preserve
Saturday May 28 - the Rocketz, the Boilermakers, Sandbox Bullies, Less Offs, Analog Law at the Dive Bar

Monday May 30 - Blasters, Supersuckers, All Togethers at the Triple B

Tuesday May 31 - Water Landing, Christine Antipa, the Bad Vibes at the Velveteen Rabbit

Saturday June 4 - Ritchie Ramone at the Dive Bar
Saturday June 4 - Shanda and the Howlers at the Golden Tiki

Thursday June 9 - the Peculiar Pretzelmen and the Sharps at the Golden Tiki

Friday June 10 - the New Waves at the Golden Tiki

Thursday June 16 - the Astaires and We Were Promised Jet Packs at the Bunkhouse

Friday June 24 - Melanie and the Midnite Marauders, Alan Six and the Undercover Monsters at the Dive Bar

Thursday July 14 - Screeching Weasel, the Dickies, the Queers at LV Country Saloon

Friday July 22 - Eagles of Death Metal at the Hard Rock

Sunday July 24 - Bob Log III at the Golden Tiki

Friday August 12 - Shooter Jennings back by Waylon's Band at Fremont Country Club

Saturday August 13 - The Swamp Gospel, Thee Faded Pyctures, Spotted Dick and the Wylde Knights and more at the Double Down

What have I forgotten? Lemme know

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band - Live Bullet

When the Bob Seger System's "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man" came blasting out of the radio in 1969, we all knew that Detroit had given us another great rock'n'roller. Of course, Seger went on to do a lot of tacky schmaltz, but even by this point in his career - 1975 - he was still a quality rocker.

This live set takes off with his take on Tina Turner's chuggin' rocker, "Nutbush City Limits" - a song hot enough that even Nashville Pussy has covered it - and you can bet that they learned it from this record! Recorded at Cobo Hall, Bob gives his hometown Detroit crowd a bit of r'n'r kudos and goes into a couple of numbers from his then-new album, "Travelin' Man" (a dynamic infused tune with - to my ears anyway - hints of Mott The Hoople's version of "Sweet Jane" before a cool rave-up) segueing into "Beautiful Loser". Side one of the double LP closed with the lovely ballad "Jodie Girl".

Van Morrison's funky stomper "I've Been Working" introduces side two followed by one of his many "road" songs, "Turn the Page", a moody ballad telling of the boredom and the challenges of touring in the early 70's as a long-haired rock'n'roll band - but the release being worth it all. A mid-tempo groover, "U.M.C." ("upper middle class") tells a cautionary tale of social climbers while Bob shows his roots in his modern, more funky, medley of "Bo Diddley" and "Who Do You Love" - complete with bass solo!

Right up there with the best Detroit rock'n'roll songs is "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man" and while I may prefer the Bob Seger System's studio take, this energetic reading does it justice. "Heavy Music" is another fine rocker that makes use of the band's tight dynamics and "Katmandu" is a powerful, guitar-driven burst.

The final side gives us the encores, starting with "Lookin' Back", another Bob Seger System stomper, followed by a frenetic, Chuck Berry-inspired "Get Out of Denver" (another "road" song about getting out of town before the cops - or the locals - get ya! Eddie and the Hot Rods did a rockin' version of this, as well) before the true finale of Chuck's ode to this music, "Let It Rock".

For those who only know him via TV commercial soundtracks, be sure to look up his early works for some down'n'dirty mid-west rock'n'roll!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Melanie and the Midnite Marauders, Alan Six, Fredward and the New Emotives at 11th Street Records, Saturday May 14, 2016

 Always willing to try something different and always wanting to support local businesses, especially a vinyl record store and recording studio combination (!), Melanie and the Midnite Marauders played this show with our friends Alan Six, Fredward and the New Emotives. Being a record store, it was an early show and was all ages so all of the parents in the bands (which seemed to be a majority) brought their kids as cheerleaders and dancers!


Up first were the New Emotives, a trio playing punk rock with solid chops - the guitarist was especially good (from my perspective as a guitarist) - who seemed to need to warm up a bit to the initially somewhat sparse audience that grew as they played and as the monitor sound got dialed in. I thought that they could have benefited from some backing vocals, but that's kinda nit-picking, as they tore through a set of punk rock including the Ramones "Havana Affair".



Next we got Fredward, a super tight quartet doing what to me sounded like a cross between grunge and pop-punk - kinda Foo Fighters-ish. Good musicians, good vocals and they brought in a good crowd.



Alan Six brought their underage entourage of chicken-dancin' go-go dancers to give an added visual effect to their anarchistic, though melodic, punk rock. It sounds like it is likely to fall apart at any moment - and it did here and there - but that just added to the punk craziness. Bassist Adrienne can really sing and there are some real songs within the turmoil and silly lyrics. Kudos for singing the Misfits "Angel Fuck" to a group of elementary school kids!




Melanie and the Midnite Marauders closed the night and although a good portion of the audience had to go home as it was past their bedtime, we still had fun playing to the rest of the folks and loosening up as we get a little more confident with our shows. Come see us again with Alan Six and the Undercover Monsters on June 24 at the Dive Bar!


Thanks to 11th Street for having us and being a rare underage venue in town! Support the record store and the studio!

Friday, May 13, 2016

Wreckless Eric - CD

Another act that I caught at this year's Mess Around was Wreckless Eric, doing a terrific solo act. Of course, that made me want to pull out this CD when I got home - the reissue of his first album with Stiff Records.

As with his live show, this record opens with the fantastic "Reconnez Cherie", a near perfect pop tune done in his unique style - weirdly eccentric vocals, mid-tempo, almost-reggae groove and interesting instrumentation, including accordion and saxophone. The fast-paced, wacky, yakkety-sax-driven "Rags and Tatters" sounds like it could have appeared on a Benny Hill episode while "Waxworks" is a driving number that, oddly, reminds me a bit of Roxy Music! "Telephoning Home" isn't quite as memorable as some of his, but Eric fluctuates between a melodic croon and a vicious growl here, and he dabbles more with reggae rhythms in "Grown Ups", which also has mighty guitar and sax solos.

Probably his best known song is "Whole Wide World", and deservedly so! Catchy beyond words, supremely clever lyrics, great playing (certainly sounds like Nick Lowe on bass on this one, and even seems to have some of his arrangement/production techniques), fine use of dynamics and a steady, bouncy groove. Many people have covered, but his original has his irrepressible spirit! Ian Dury's "Rough Kids" follows, "Personal Hygiene" is a goofy, ballady ode to...well, yes, cleanliness, "Brain Thieves" again has some similarities to Roxy Music and is pretty damn powerful and the vinyl version appropriately concluded with the incessant "There Isn't Anything Else".

But there is (something else) on the CD reissue! Another classic, "Semaphore Signals", was left off the original record, which this rectifies. An excellent song in the same vein as "Reconnez Cherie" and "Whole Wide World" - up there with his best! It seems that a number of their artists did tribute songs to the label and the two versions of "Be Stiff" here are fairly heavy rockers - I am tempted to guess that Larry Wallis is playing guitar on this (copping a bit of "Purple Haze" at one point). Very cool and this shows the width and breadth of the sounds they put out!

I really love the 70's Stiff Records catalog and this is another unique stand-out among all of their unique artists.